Necessity is en route to Mar del Plata in Argentina
Eva and Jan Fr. Mack
Wed 18 Jan 2012 10:29
We finally got out of Puerto Williams. I think I spent 5-6 hours with the Chilean Armada (Navy). The rulers of Chilean Patagonia. There was nothing wrong, mind you. Just the same papers being filled in, the same questions to answer. I think they loose the forms once they have been filled in. Not surprising since there are almost as many people as there are forms and questions. And of course there are queues despite the number of Armada personnel. But finally we were off, checked out for Argentina. Still the Armada was present - on the VHF. We were hailed 6-7 times the few miles into Argentinian waters. What do they think could happen? This is a well marked channel. Did they fear us turning into the enemy - an Argetinian gun boat? For Argentina is still the foe down here. There was near war in the 80'ties when Argentina wanted more of Patagonia. The Pope mediated, and war was averted, but only just. Argentina didn't get anything.
The Chilean navy is not nasty, however. They are all smiling boys, and it is hard to become angry - only frustrated. Very frustrated.
We are now fairly close to the Falkland Islands, but Necessity can't go there. If we do, Argentina will not let us in. That is a pity, since weather and safety wise the Falklands (or Las Malvinas) makes sense. It would also have been an interesting stop. As it is we bow to the black mail, and give the Falklands a miss. Argentina's previous policy made more sense. Boats visiting Malvinas were not considered to have left Argentina at all provided they were already checked into Argentina.
Weather and safety does matter out here. This is still the southern ocean, and conditions can be harsh. Necessity has good weather though, and the forecast looks quite ok. So here we are, sailing quite fast towards Mar del Plata in Argentina. ETA in 7 days.